Cadence can be defined as the rhythm or a flow of events which every agile team strives to achieve in order to operate efficaciously. Cadence helps the agile teams to focus on delivery of the actual product rather than on the actual process. In Scrum the team cadence usually revolves around the sprint cycle. For example, if a team is operating a 2-week sprint cycle then most ceremonies are triggered by the sprint boundary. Activities such as sprint planning, sprint review, and sprint retrospective are triggered by the two-week cadence. In Kanban the cadences are decoupled. This means that each ceremony or activity operates its own cadence independent of the sprint cadence. Therefore, activities such as planning happens more frequently but regularly. Retrospectives don’t wait until the end of the sprint but can be done more frequently and therefore accelerate learning. Releases can be done on demand rather than waiting for the end of a sprint cycle. Another cadence that applies to all Agile methodologies and processes is that of Daily stand-ups. As the name implies these happen daily at around the same time. All team members are responsible for understanding what cadences are at play across the delivery lifecycle. We often find it useful to publish a list of events or cadences and display them in the team work area. This ensures everyone is fully aware of the regular team ceremonies and is another form of an information radiator. Cadence isn’t just limited to team behaviours or activities. Some technical activities also follow a cadence. For example, some Agile teams compliment their continuous integration process with a nightly build. The nightly build often includes automated tests that take longer to run that wouldn’t be sensible to run as part of the continuous integration process. These concepts are covered in the Solutioneers workshops: Lean Agile Boot Camp, and Agile Testing Foundations.

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